There seems to be this idea that children who are homeschooled are sheltered. The notion is that they do not understand the challenge of being in the “real world” therefore do not learn to cope with problems and become “soft”. For some children, and I mean a very small minority of children, this may be the case. However, for most homeschool children, they experience the same issues and problems of any public school child.
My daughter was bullied relentlessly in school. She couldn’t focus on her work, and she was in constant fear. She was called names, told she was unloved, and even told that someone was going to bring a gun to school and shoot her. She was miserable. So, instead of learning she worried. Since being homeschooled, her academic successes have been numerous. She doesn’t have to worry about how someone is going to treat her. She knows what to expect, and because of that she can concentrate. Fully concentrated on her learning. Even though she isn’t in the public school setting anymore, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t experience bullying.
Case in point, just this week my daughter was the victim of someone who meant to cause her harm and distress. Someone messaged her through my Facebook and sent her very mean messages. She was devastated. She didn’t need to be sitting in a desk in a classroom for the unkind words of others to reach her. So, we talked about it. We turned up the music and danced it out, straight up Grey’s Anatomy style. We did her nails and fixed her hair. For dinner than night we had banana splits.
She learned several things that night. 1. She learned her mom has her back, always. 2. She learned that the words of others can hurt, even through social media. She will remember that when she is allowed to have her own account, and hopefully she will not be a “keyboard bully”. 3. She learned the power of music and how it can be used to change your mood. 4. She learned that despite anything that others might say to you or about you, your beauty (both inner and outer) is unchanged. 5. Ice cream and chocolate is comfort food, and cookie dough can cure anything.
The next day, she was fine. She had dealt with the emotions, and she was ready to learn. She is stronger, wiser, and braver. She is more confident in herself, and me. She isn’t sheltered. She isn’t protected. She will learn how to face the challenges of this world, and it doesn’t take public school to do that.